On Thursday, Vets for Freedom announced that we’re sending 8 of our members, myself included, back to Iraq to assess the situation on the ground. NRO was gracious enough—thank you K-Lo!—to credential three of us, and we’ll be writing on this site frequently in the coming weeks.
All 8 embeds will return to areas where we previously served, providing a “before and after” perspective not often heard in the Iraq debate. Our guys (and gal) will be going out on patrol, visiting with local Iraqis, and observing Iraqi Security Forces. This is no trip to the Green Zone, chalk full of mind-numbing PowerPoint briefings. This trip will be a boots-on-the-ground assessment from veterans who know what to look for.
There is no doubt the surge has improved the security situation in most parts of Iraq, however, there are numerous follow-on questions that must be asked: What are the durability of the recent gains? What is the depth of political reconciliation? Are Iraqi refugees returning? And is the Iraqi government facilitating their reintegration? These questions, amongst others, are included in a joint op-ed we had in the Washington Times on Friday.
While politicians play politics with the perception of progress, Vets for Freedom will continue to fight to get the facts out and represent the voice of those who have been there, got the t-shirt, and are hungry for American victory on all fronts of the Global War on Terrorism.
I hope you’ll check NRO (as well as our friends at The Weekly Standard and BlackFive.net) and VetsforFreedom.org in the weeks to come to hear the first hand accounts.